Style Guide On Men’s Shirt And Tie Combinations

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The paradox of choice also known as a ‘choice overload’ is the consumerism phenomenon by which having too many options to choose from makes us unhappy. It exhausts us and generally leads to making poor decisions of buying. For me, there’s a thing which I call an Olive Dilemma. It’s when you pop by the grocery store to get some olives for your friend’s vine party. In front, you have ten shelves of black and green olives and pitted olives, olives with lemon, marinated olives, Sicilian olives and so on. Man, all you need is just a jar of olives. I guess it’s nowhere more apparent in the male wardrobe that when it comes to shirts and ties combinations. Here we get back to the basics and share a Define sleek’s guide on how to rule them all.

What Is A Colour Wheel?

If this is the first time you hear it – well, welcome aboard, you’re on a good way. The colour wheel offers a visual representation of the similar, complementary and contrasting colours. Colours besides each other are similar, meaning they hold the same tones. Colours that are opposite to one another are complementary, and the rule is that the shades of these tones need to be well thought of. Finally, colours that are three sections away from the other one are contrasting.
The trick to perfecting similarly coloured shirts and ties is to vary your shades. Ties should be darker than your shirts, like, a l w a y s. I mean this is one of the main things to remember when learning about men’s fashion, yet I don’t quite understand why. I believe that there should be some freedom and I genuinely think there are some men that could wear a lighter tie and still nail the look.
When selecting a tie and shirt combination, always start thinking of what kind of shirt you’re going to be wearing. This is your base layer, then go for a tie, never vice versa. The colour wheel is informative, but it shouldn’t be taken as a doctrine. Perfecting tie and shirt combinations will come from experience, and furthermore, you’ll finally find your own way to pair them.

How To Select The Right Tie?

Pay some attention and invest in quality. Size is a crucial thing to consider. The general rule is that the width of the tie should match the width of the lapels on your suit. Moreover, the knot should fit both your face and the type of collar on the shirt.
Another important thing is selecting the fabric. The best ties are made of natural materials such as silk, wool, or cashmere. The two most common types of summer tie fabrics are linen and cotton.
My tips would include:
  • I would never go out wearing a novelty tie.
  • I would stay away from anything too shiny or too skinny.
  • A tie should be as close in width to your lapel as possible.
  • Always favour silk or wool over polyester.
  • As I say about everything – less is better. For some people, ties aren’t their thing at all, so it’s okay not to wear it, and still get a perfect Oscar look.

The Best Shirt And Tie Combinations

Best Colour Ties With A White Shirt

White shirts offer versatility and are like a blank canvas for almost anything. No matter your tie choice (either colour, stripes, patterns or new textures), white is the perfect choice for clean combinations you can form without thinking twice. My favourite pick of 2019 – white on white. So modern and crispy, yet classical.
Man in white shirt and tie combination
SAMOO IS CBD | IG akiefsheriff

Best Colour Ties With A Blue Shirt

The exceptional thing about blue is that it ranges from dark shades (even almost black) to a pale and light blue colours that aren’t too far from white. A plain blue shirt can be combined with a patterned tie, such as polka dots, checks, stripes or paisley. A dark blue shirt looks nice with a dark green tie. If you want to remain classic, wear a light blue shirt with a dark blue, best navy, tie.
Man in blue shirt and textured tie
SAMOO IS CBD | IG akiefsheriff

Best Colour Ties With A Black Shirt

With a black shirt, it’s best to stick with neutral tones when it comes to ties. We recommend going for a varying shade of grey or even a black tie to team up with your shirt. If you want to add some colour, go for a darker purple or dark blue tie.

Man in black suit and black shirt
IG perkensbienaime

Best Colour Ties With A Pink Shirt

As for pink, similar colours include mauve and purple. Green is complementary; therefore khaki shades are a bold choice that will make you stand out if this is your style. Blue, however, is a contrasting colour and there is probably no better pairing than a pink shirt with a navy tie, whether solid or patterned.

Man in pink shirt and navy tie
Gerry | IG gezzaseyes

What To Wear With Striped Shirts?

The aim is to make sure that the added tie harmonises the look rather than conquers the shirt. The way to avoid this is to wear a tie in a block colour. However, if looking into pattern-mixing, there is one rule to remember: vary the size of the patterns. The pattern should be larger than the one you have on the shirt.
Man in striped shirt and patterned tie
Gerry | IG gezzaseyes
Stripes can also work well with other stripes, as long as they aren’t the same size. Another tip is to vary the orientation of the stripes combined. For instance, pair a vertically striped shirt with a horizontal or diagonal striped tie. It creates a contrast between each piece. Also, more subtle prints like smaller polka dots, paisley and geometric designs can also work well to complement striped shirts.

What To Wear With Checked Shirts?

Because you have so much going on with your shirt already, you’ll want to keep your tie simple. Go for a block colour that matches your shirt. Stripes are an excellent choice to combine with check shirts. Choose a tie with a large stripe so that it could easily stand out against the pattern of the shirt.
Man in checked shirt and silk tie
Christopher Korey | IG christopherkorey
The important thing to notice is that while a striped shirt can go either with a smaller or bigger pattern, a check shirt always requires a tie with a larger pattern; otherwise, it can become lost.

The Important Thing

Any time you choose your outfit, be sure to check on yourself and ask if it feels right for you. If it feels awkward, too busy, forced, or crowded, then don’t go with it. You have to feel good, comfy and self-confident. Our aim here is to provide some ideas so you can create a few go-to combinations for yourself, that suit your skin tone and your personal style, making getting dressed on some occasion, just a little bit easier. If you’re not sure what kind of a dress shirt to choose – we’ve got you covered – here’s an article on that.

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